A Never Ending Love Story
By Rev. Florence Monzon
I think I was about 15 when my dad took me to one of our visits to his parent’s home. My grandmother happened to be spring cleaning and getting rid of stuff she no longer needed and was dumping them in a pile and burning them. My eyes caught sight of an old book in the pile, and I quickly ran to pull it out. I was thrilled to find that it was a book of Easter poems. I have memorized by heart some of the poems from that old Easter book, which led me to discover an insightful treasure from such poems.
One of its short poems by an anonymous author became an instant favorite. It talked about how wonderful life is when filled by the spirit of God. Through the years, I have changed the words but it went something like this:
Dear God, fill me with your presence that I may live the life of your spirit, the life of love, wisdom, and kindness. Fill me that I may never stray from joy. Dear God, give me sympathy and sense and help to keep my courage high. Give me calm and confidence and please, a twinkle in my eyes.
I believe it was my grandmother, my father’s mother, who opened the door for me to explore other religions because she was a 7th Day Adventist and would always take us, her grandchildren, to her church when we spent our weekends with her. I grew up a Catholic, and God to me then was a super being in the heavens who always protected and took care of me - like my parents who made sure my siblings and I were loved and secure. I knew God loved me so much. When I started working, one of my close friends invited me to the Lutheran Church where she was part of the music ministry. I attended their church most of the time. And God still loved me so much.
I met and married a wonderful man, and I joined him in San Diego, California after we got married. A friend invited me to the Filipino Baptist Church and soon after, I got baptized in water and attended the Baptist Church for three years. And God loved me so much. Then in 1992, I somehow got a copy of the Daily Word, a Unity publication. I was so moved by the affirmations of love and positivity in the small booklet and when I saw that it has local churches in San Diego that I became very eager to find one. I must have been unconsciously searching for a fuller understanding of this God that loved me so much because after finding and visiting the Church of Today, a Unity spiritual center in San Diego, I immediately connected with its spiritual teaching of God’s love that lives, moves and has its powerful presence in each of us.
I learned that God is absolute love, constantly active in us, and we are never separate even for a second from this energy of love ever flowing in and through us, seeking expression from us in the way we think, feel and act for we are each an individual expression of love. There is no condemnation in love. We are not punished by God, the pain is the consequence of our wrong choices, beliefs, and perception. I realized that when Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be added unto you”, it is because within us is the kingdom of love that always opens the way to new and greater abundant good. “Fear not, for it is your Father’s great pleasure to give you the kingdom”, Luke 12:32. It is not only God’s great pleasure to give us the kingdom of love but it is already established in us, ready for us to discover and express in the highest way according to our talents and gifts. Choosing to joyfully connect with love within, we open our hearts and mind to realize our oneness with God as Jesus knew when he declared, “The Father and I are one.” He also said, “It is the Father in me who does the works.”
It will then be easier for us to love others as we love ourselves, another great commandment of Jesus who taught us not to judge according to appearances as he demonstrated love in all his ways. There is no end to this love story, for my desire to express the goodness and love of God more fully is deepening and transcending the confines of the various religious institutions that helped me grow and expand to my new understanding.
As I choose to align my will to God’s will for me – heightened bliss, serenity, ease, and grace fill me, the evidence of God’s never-ending activity of divine love in me. Thank you, God!